An innovative and creative approach to link acquisition which resulted in a significant improvement in search engine rankings, and subsequently increases in traffic and sales.
The “ingredients from abroad” campaign formed part of a holistic link building strategy for Cox & Kings aimed at improving search engine rankings for the competitive search term ‘tailor-made holidays’. At the beginning of the campaign, the Cox & Kings website ranked outside of the top 50 positions on Google.
A traditional approach taken by travel companies to generate coverage and links from bloggers is to offer press trips. However, in this instance it was more difficult to justify the cost of a press trip to a far flung and exotic destination in return for coverage and a link. There had to be a more cost effective way of engaging the blogger community that did not involve a paid trip on a Cox & Kings holiday.
Putting our creative brains together, we came up with the idea of utilising the Cox & Kings staff that as part of their day job regularly travel overseas to experience a Cox & Kings holiday first hand. In turn, they are better placed to talk to customers about hotels, activities and so on.
With this in mind, we asked a group of Cox & Kings staff to bring back unusual food and drink ingredients synonymous to each of the regions they were visiting. All kinds of unusual foodstuffs were brought back, including chicken feet from China, guava jam from Brazil and tinned reindeer from Finland!
So then to the fun part; we challenged a network of travel and food bloggers to create recipes using the unusual ingredients. Once we had the products in hand we let each of the bloggers choose the ingredients they wanted to use. Over time, each of the bloggers came up with some interesting and sometimes unusual recipe ideas.
Importantly, each of the bloggers wrote about their experience in receiving and creating a recipe from the ingredients.
The creative, blogger outreach program, resulted in significant coverage for Cox & Kings across a number of high profile blogs and importantly a link back to the site, for example:
Combined with other natural search tactics, the Cox & Kings website is now ranking on the first page of Google for the term ‘tailor-made holidays’, increasing ‘exact match’ traffic to the website by 557% year-on-year. In turn, this led to a 111% increase in sales directly attributable to this search term when comparing January 2011 with January 2012.
As well as the direct impact on search engine rankings and traffic, the campaign has also resulted in coverage for the Cox & Kings brand across blogs that attract a profile of visitor in keeping with the typical Cox & Kings customer, whilst also developing important and value-adding relationships for future campaigns.